I don’t really collect salt and pepper shakers. I’ve a few vintage glass shakers for my table that we actually use, but I am more drawn to the vintage animal s & p shakers and it seems that whenever those are up for auction or for sale, the prices are too spicy for me. Sure, I’ve rescued a few single shakers, an odd elephant dressed as a policeman and a cat in a king’s robe; but that’s only two, not a collection, right?
But not too long ago I stumbled into these.
I got them, along with the matching cruet, not because they were uber cheap (though one could hardly call $15, or $5 per piece outrageously expensive), and not because I could see them as part of my animals with red polka dot bow ties collection (because these bow ties are stripped, not dotted — and I am fussy like that); but because they puzzled me.
These shakers and the taller cruet are part of a vintage ceramic figurative table wear set which was made in Japan. This I know. What I do not quite know is what the animals are supposed to be: pigs or cats?
Now I’ve made it through school, including college, thank-you-very-much, and I can tell a pig from a cat under most every other circumstance. But tell me, please, what you make of these?
Sleek black animals with pointy ears & whiskers, like cats. But then they also have pink pug-ish piggy noses, and curly tails. And their feet are painted in metallic gold — more like hooves than paws too. So I really don’t know what to make of them. Other than to find them, like any genetic mutant, utterly fascinating in their combined creepy cuteness.
Until you can prove — or at least make a great argument for — one or the other, pig or cat, I call them the black pig-cats.